Solving (Sunday Morning) Chaos
It Worked for Us
The following are the benefits of our team-based parent
- Leadership Development -- There's a law of
leadership that says leaders will always surface. A funny thing
happens in classrooms when parents are partnered with other leaders
and teachers. Many parents surface as natural leaders or teachers
themselves and decide to become part of the teaching or leadership
team in our children's ministry.
- Personal Discoveries -- Often, we find parents
have other skills or talents they just never thought about using in
conjunction with kids. We have a fabulous creative design group
made up of parents who help us whenever we're decorating
classrooms, painting, or having a special event. During our recent
building program, we had parents donate thousands of volunteer
hours in construction, painting, electrical work, and stage design.
Where did these people come from? They were part of our parent
- Network Recruiting -- Teams attract and
recruit other people to the ministry for you! A team has far more
influence in recruiting than any one person does because team
members are in contact with or have relationships with more people.
The law of numbers is very clear. Everyone knows a limited number
of people. By myself, I am limited, but when teams of people are
helping me recruit, the potential is unlimited.
- Team Training -- Because of the large number
of people involved in our children's ministry, we equip our team
leaders to train the new people who are added to their
teams. In addition, we emphasize the need for team leaders to build
up their teams by having social times together, contacting each
person by phone or email, and working cooperatively during
once-a-month times in the classroom.
- Connection -- In a large church, we constantly
have the need to help people connect. A Parent Partners program is
the perfect place for this to happen. Once parents are placed on
teams, they get to know at least four or five other people in the
church. Often, a parent who starts out in the 3-year-old class with
his little one ends up staying on that team for years because of
the friendship bonds that developed over the course of that first
year. The Parent Partners program serves as a valuable tool for
connecting new families with the church and for helping them form
- One-on-One Attention -- Each child gets the
special attention, extra hug, prayer for the skinned knee, and
other things he or she needs. When kids are in the lobby or the
hallways, they're excited to see so many adults they proudly claim
as their "teacher." Instead of feeling deprived, the children feel
blessed to have so many adults who love and care for them.
- Parent Involvement -- With a cooperative
system, we're helping parents fulfill the commandment God gave them
to teach their kids. I don't expect all parents to be gifted
teachers, nor are they all going to be administrators or leaders.
They can all, however, help with their children's Christian
education at church.
I've never met a child who wasn't excited and ecstatic when his
or her parent came into the classroom as part of the team that day.
Kids feel like their parents place high value on what they do and
learn in class. Parents place high value on the children's ministry
because they see all that's involved and because they're part of
it. And my core leadership team values parents as an integral part
of our success.